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The Vital Context of Restorative Justice

Boutellier, Hans
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In, Ivo Aertsen, Tom Daems and Luc Robert, editors, Institutionalizing Restorative Justice. Cullompton, Devon and Portland: Willan Publishing Press pp.25-42

In this chapter, the author discusses restorative justice in relation to the security problems that arise from crime and anti-social behavior. The foundation of his ideas is based on a book by David Garland called The Culture of Crime Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society. In this book Garland states that criminal justice policy is controlled by “penal welfarism,” a theory that states that crime is the product of deprivation that can only be eased by rehabilitation or correction. The author of this chapter expands upon Garland’s ideas by discussing what he calls the “contemporary crime complex.” This complex consists of twelve symptoms of control, including “the return of the victim,” “the rediscovery of the prison,” and “a permanent sense of crisis.” In addition to expanding upon Garland’s “crime complex,” the author also discusses security politics, crime as a safety issue, and his idea of vital culture as it relates to a desire for safety. He explains that the governance of security can be represented as a “soccer team model,” or one that works like the defensive game of a soccer team. His conclusion discusses how restorative justice may be a better option for addressing the needs of each injured party than the use of typical courtroom practices.


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